Forest for the Trees

Light streaming through forest

Breakthroughs are hard to come by!

A breakthrough is not something you can just manufacture. Often they occur just about the time you are convinced that they will never occur. Those needing a breakthrough often become so engulfed just trying to cope with the confusion and the frustration that they can’t see the forest for the trees.

Breakthrough moments are often the process of a series of steps that God uses to bring clarity and alignment to His purposes. In a breakthrough the question is often not whether God is still at work, but more what is God at work doing, and if we have the courage to see life and the future from His perspective.

I work with people who are in need of a breakthrough. The process of gaining insight often involves four, intentional LOOKS at their life and leadership.

A LOOK BACK… in order to know how where are going, your first must take a look back. No. 1 command given to the nation of Israel is to remember. One way to do this is to build a Turning Points Profile and the mining of your key, defining moments.

A LOOK UP… in order to know where you are going, you next must seek to gain sovereign perspective on what occurs… how does what has occurred fit or in line with what God does overall as he shapes a Christ-follower for influence. One way to do this is to use books like The Making of a Leader (Dr. J. Robert Clinton) to compare notes.

A LOOK WITHIN… in order to know where you are going, it is also vital to look within and go deeper in your intimacy with Christ, and your own healing and addressing of those issues that can/could hold you back. In order to go wide, you must go deep.

A LOOK FORWARD… based on insights from the those three looks, then begin to chart the future in line with how God has already been at work. Every good vision or new direction is seeded in the past. The future is not bound by the past, but in your past are hints of where God is leading you in the future.

Final comment… you do not get to clarity alone. Breakthroughs are often hindered because we can’t see the forest for the trees. Gaining perspective is enhanced in having another set of eyes, looking at the same issues, helping you to see and recognize how God is at work.

So… if you are finding yourself at the place where you need a breakthrough… the four looks might help.

Take some time… grab some coffee at a quiet coffee-shop, and begin by taking a “look back” at what has occurred, then a “look up” asking God for His perspective and take on your situation. Then it is a time for the “look within” and aligning your heart and opinions with Christ. And finally, and only then, now take a “look forward” and begin to think through where God might be wanting you to go!


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